Human Swine Flu - Information Sheet - OH_S - home by yaofenjin

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									H1N1 Influenza 09 (Human Swine Flu)
Information Sheet                                                              Updated: 1 June 2009


Background
NSW Health has confirmed a small number of schools in Victoria and South Australia
have been closed for seven days due to confirmed cases of human swine influenza
(“Swine Flu”). These decisions were taken as a precautionary measure to prevent the
spread of the virus.

Human swine influenza is a new strain of flu that has recently been confirmed in 41
countries around the world. This flu virus is a concern because:
        it is new, so there is no vaccine;
        it seems to spread more easily than normal, seasonal flu;
        while many people who get sick with this virus have a mild illness, some people
         get very sick and need hospital care, and some have died;
        it is affecting mostly young people under the age of 30, which is unusual for flu;
        there is potential for the virus to develop into a more dangerous form.

A lot of effort is going into containing the spread of the virus in our community. This is
important while we wait for a vaccine to be available. A vaccine is some months away.

To limit the potential exposure, NSW Health has advised the department to take steps to
exclude staff or students who may have been in countries that have had community or
school transmission of the virus.

Symptoms
The symptoms of Swine Flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human
influenza and include:
        fever
        cough
        sore throat
        body aches
        headache
        chills; and
        fatigue.

Some people have also reported diarrhoea and vomiting.

Anyone who:
        has these symptoms who has recently been overseas; or
        has been in contact with someone with the symptoms who has been overseas; or

Human Swine Flu - Information Sheet                       Version 1                                     Page 1 of 4

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        who has been confirmed as having Swine Flu;
should attend the nearest Emergency Department for assessment, or ring your general
practitioner if you are from a rural area and do not have ready access to a hospital. If
attending a doctor it is recommended that people contact their doctor in advance to advise
that they may have Swine Flu.

Prevention strategy - students
The advice from NSW Health as at 1 June 2009 is that, for the time being, any student
who travels to Mexico, USA, Canada, Japan or Panama should be excluded from TAFE
for seven days after arriving home. This country list will be continually revised. During
these seven days, the student should stay home whether or not they have flu symptoms.
This is because a person infected with flu can spread the virus a whole day before they
start to feel unwell.

The risk priorities are based on the OH&S Risk Assessment matrix, where
1 - 2 is High priority,
3 - 4 is Medium priority, and
5 - 6 is Low priority.

Risk priority 2 - students who exhibit flu-like symptoms who have just returned from
travelling to high risk countries and/or who may have been exposed to someone who has
returned from those countries.

Procedure:
1.       That student(s) be advised in writing (Attachment 2) not to attend TAFE for at least
         seven days.
2.       They are to see the doctor and be tested for Swine Flu. If they test positive they
         should be asked to advise their teacher and their teacher in turn should advise
         OH&S Services. OH&S Services will determine the level of exposure and decide
         on risk controls.
3.       They can only return when they have submitted a medical certificate indicating
         they have recovered.
4.       If their Swine Flu test is negative, they should submit a medical certificate stating
         that they do not have Swine Flu and they can be allowed to return. They should be
         encouraged to stay away until they have fully recovered.

Risk priority 3 - students who do not have symptoms, but who have just returned from
travelling to high risk countries.

Procedure:
1.    That student(s) be advised in writing (Attachment 3) not to attend TAFE for at least
      seven days.
2.       If they have no symptoms within the seven days, they can return.
3.       Within those seven days, if they develop flu symptoms, they are to see the doctor
         and be tested for swine flu. If they test positive they should be asked to advise their
         teacher and their teacher in turn should advise OH&S Services. OH&S Services
         will determine the level of exposure and decide on risk controls.
4.       Students who have had Swine Flu or flu-like symptoms can only return when they
         have submitted a medical certificate indicating they have recovered.

Human Swine Flu - Information Sheet                       Version 1                                     Page 2 of 4

                       Disclaimer: Printed copies of this document are regarded as uncontrolled.
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Risk priority 4 - students who do not have symptoms, but who have been exposed to
someone who has just returned from travelling to high risk countries and who has flu-like
symptoms.

Procedure:
1.       That staff and students continue to observe the strict hygiene precaution measures
         outlined in this Information Sheet and the ‘Preventing Influenza’ poster. Students
         should also be aware of the symptoms and be asked to report if they have
         symptoms to their teacher.
2.       That appropriate staff be in regular contact with the individual (suspected case)
         who is at highest risk to ascertain whether they have flu-like symptoms.
3.       If the individual (suspected case) reports that they have flu-like symptoms, then
         they are considered a Risk priority 2 and that procedure should be followed.
4.       If the individual reports that they do not have flu-like symptoms, then no further
         action is required.

Risk priority 5 - students who themselves currently have no symptoms, but may have
been exposed to someone who has just returned from travelling to high risk countries.

Procedure:
1.    That staff and students continue to observe the strict hygiene precaution measures
      outlined in this Information Sheet and the ‘Preventing Influenza’ poster. Students
      should also be aware of the symptoms and be asked to report if they have
      symptoms to their teacher.
2.    If it is confirmed that a student has been exposed to a person who has Swine Flu,
      then the procedure for Risk priority 2 (for the student) and Risk priority 4 (for the
      exposed staff and students) is implemented.

Prevention strategy - staff
The same general prevention strategy applies to all TAFE staff.

Similarly, staff will need to advise their college if they are required to stay at home. During
this absence, staff will be on paid ‘special leave’.

Precaution measures
Further precautions that individuals can take to minimise the spread of Swine Flu, include:
        Avoid or minimise exposure to “high risk” locations, such as hospitals, educational
         establishments, sporting and entertainment venues, airports, nursing homes and
         public transport.
        Maintain a safe distance from others who appear to have flu-like symptoms.
        Avoid touching the eyes, nose or mouth.
        Carry and use alcohol wipes to clean hands and commonly used objects, such as
         phones.
        Avoid touching public items, such as handrails and shopping carts.
        When necessary to touch public items, immediately use alcohol-based wipes to
         clean hands.
        Cover nose and mouth with a disposable tissue when sneezing or coughing.
        Wash or wipe hands after sneezing or coughing.
Human Swine Flu - Information Sheet                       Version 1                                     Page 3 of 4

                       Disclaimer: Printed copies of this document are regarded as uncontrolled.
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        Immediately dispose of used wipes and tissues.
        Wear a face mask when in “high risk” locations, such as when travelling on public
         transport.

Further information
For more information about these arrangements, please contact your College Director.

If you would like more information about swine influenza, this can be accessed on the
NSW Health website (http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/publichealth/swine_flu.asp) or by
calling the national information line on 180 2007.




Human Swine Flu - Information Sheet                       Version 1                                     Page 4 of 4

                       Disclaimer: Printed copies of this document are regarded as uncontrolled.
                     Please check http://sitwww.tafensw.edu.au/ to ensure this is the latest version.

								
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